Wednesday, August 13, 2008


I have been a big chai fan. I gave away drinking milk pretty early as a kid, and have been hooked to chai ever since. In those days my breakfast used to be chai and biscuits, much to the displeasure of my folks. They still remember how adamant I was for chai, even for a matching saucer with the cup..I used to make a scene if I didn't get phool-wali bashi that is a saucer with flower you know!

Over time, I grew, so did my passion for devouring different things with this enticing brown beverage. Diwali used to be fun. Mom used to make a big-daba full of the spicy crispy shevai just for me, and I used to finish it, every strand of it, dipped in chai! Spicy hot things dipped in chai somehow became a feast for my taste buds, and I started trying more and more. Next was my ever favourite chakli. These days I can't appreciate "dry" chakli anymore.

People by now had realized this kid is nuts, except for my cousin, who shared my passion with equal enthusiasm and pioneering spirit. She too new this spice-chai combo was fireworks-y. In fact it was her who introduced me to this new "dish"...the world famous Chitale's bakharwadi with chai! (WARNING: Do not try this at home, you'll die of acidity stroke.)

My experiments went on, much to my surprise I found that (bit salty)chapatis and ghavane(kind of dosas made with non-fermented rice flour) and churmure went equally good with chai. Ready-mix dosa and fried idlis dipped in some sweet chai give them a unique taste, I would recommend these to people willing to experiment :)

And then I went thinking...why did I become a chai person. I thought and thought, and then came a realization. I remember as a kid, watching my Dad, eating white poha(flat rice flakes) dipped in chai, he used to like it then. So its the genes, though they seem to be mostly dormant in him. But I remember him dragging us to a Irani restaurant in Mumbai, at dawn time, after we had just arrived by train, for having a maska-burun(a hard bread, donno if thats the way it is spelt) chai. Not that I regret.

After I started work, it used to be coffee most of the time, I had forgotten dear chai, until I came to Tucson, where my roomie Akshay started making chai regularly...for early morning reasons. And then I had the pleasure of relishing the works of great chai-makers Quadir, Vad & Bhavin.

My current roomies are more of filter-coffee annas. As for me, I have been a bad chai-maker till date, and that makes me really be-chai-n!


Karthik said...

"bechain".. well well, your PJ talent is showing.. although that was a good one. :).. I miss bhavin's tea masala, and also my coming late is not helping it be a regular habit. Although i have never been a chai/kapi person ever.

Natasha said...

heyy...i'm not a chaiperson, but my mum and bro are. But my fondest memory of my previous company is one of my last days, on a rainy day, a bunch of my close friends and me went for Tea and Bhajjis! yumm those go so well together too.

Elaichi and masala chai are good too :)

Parag said...

ktk < haha yes...with you and manish around, this is the least i can come up with.

natasha < yes..chai and garam bhajis go great too. I have memories having them on foggy-rainy-cold days on the top of Sinhgad fort in Pune with my close buddies...makes me nostalgic.
I like masala chai...but not elaichi as much.

balpeck said...

anything hot usually gets me going... If I'm way to lazy to use the microwave for coffee, I go with orange juice ..

"be-chai-n"?? Stop breaking your own records of nerdiness!!

Gandalf said...

Chai-time has always been a ritual at my place. Every morning all four of us would sit down to have tea together. It was a time we relished together. And my father and I would always drink tea at night too, though at that time of the day, a small cup.

To many people's surprise, I continue to drink tea in the morning even though it takes a lot longer than making coffee. I get up at 6 in the morning, make tea and drink it with 'Khari' biscuits while browsing morning news! It's become standard practice on my part now.

And thanks for the compliments :) I no longer have people around me who appreciate the delicate and classy taste of tea.

Parag said...

Bala < lazy to use the microwave! avghad aahe.

Bhavin < I like eating Khari too(the Bombay Khari if you know what I mean) with chai. Hope I get to have tea made by you some day again :)

Gayatri Patwardhan said...

i love chai too. adrak wali chai to be very precise :) tikhat tikhat :D

nice to read ur blog parag!

Minu said...

I am a chai freak! Parle biscuit (pronounce bis-koot) with chai anytime, anywhere :)

Parag said...

Gayatri < thanks!

Minu < yes, Parle-G is one of favorites with chai too.